Supply Chain Now
Episode 861

I think that's common for a lot of people in industry, they hear the word 'robot' and think 'loss of jobs,' but that's not the case. And that's why we're 6 River Systems. We're not 6 River Robotics. Because we're building a system that really optimizes the whole workflow.

-Matt Fitzgerald, 6 River Systems

Episode Summary

Are robots the enemy or the answer to labor shortages and warehousing challenges? There’s no better opportunity than the Buzz to hash out the promise of automation, and no better guest than 6 River Systems’ Matt Fitzgerald to offer insight. Plus, you can count of Scott and Greg for the latest headlines of the day including port updates, new government initiatives, Starbucks cups and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain Now, the voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges, and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.

Scott Luton (00:00:30):

Hey. Hey. Good morning. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Gregory, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:37):

Pretty good. Is it Monday again?

Scott Luton (00:00:39):

It is Monday again.

Greg White (00:00:41):

Doesn’t it seem like it was just Monday?

Scott Luton (00:00:45):

Right. The world is turning faster, and faster, and faster. But, yeah, it felt like we just knocked out The Buzz just like yesterday afternoon it feels like, huh?

Greg White (00:00:55):

Well, we were on for livestreams a few days last week, and I think we’re going to be seeing some people again a few times this week, right?

Scott Luton (00:01:06):

We sure are. Groundhog day is going to be our theme this week, for sure. Lots and lots of conversations and action, to be driving via our programming here at Supply Chain Now. We’re going to touch on some of that momentarily. But thanks for joining us here for Supply Chain Buzz, where Greg and I tackle some of the leading stories across global business every Monday at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. All right.

 

Scott Luton (00:01:30):

So, Greg, we’ve got a special guest joining us about 12:25 today, Matt Fitzgerald with 6 River Systems, is going to be joining us. We’re going to be talking about a variety of things, including the highly competitive labor and market across industry. So, buckle up, folks. Get ready. We want to hear from you too. Greg, before we say hello to some folks and before we share some programming notes, I want to know what the Hilton Head global supply chain logistics and transportation scientific index is at this morning.

Greg White (00:02:00):

I love that. We need to put together an acronym for that.

Scott Luton (00:02:03):

Come up with that acronym .

Greg White (00:02:05):

I’m not sure we want to spell what that might spell. But I can tell you what it spells today, and its delay. So, I’ve adapted the index somewhat. It was five outside of the Port of Savannah today. And it was 28 outside the Port of Charleston today, which, believe it or not, is down. And we’re going to talk about an initiative by the U.S. Government and some other companies that are trying to figure out how to overcome this delay. So, it’s going to be interesting to talk about that.

 

Greg White (00:02:45):

But it wasn’t that long ago, Scott, that the ports on the East Coast were bragging about their ability to throughput ships. So, ships started coming to the East Coast and Gulf Coast Ports, and what we’ve realized is that the volume that was being delayed on the West Coast was so substantial that now it’s starting to shift delays, basically, to virtually every port on the U.S. Coast.

Scott Luton (00:03:11):

Where is Silvia Judy when we need her? We’re going to have to get a boots on the ground report from what’s going on in Charleston.

Greg White (00:03:18):

I’m going to to volunteer for that boots on the ground report, Scott, as long as I get to do it in Charleston at Halls, the steakhouse, for dinner.

Scott Luton (00:03:27):

That’s the on ground part, so it comes with the territory. So, let’s make that happen and enjoy a good dinner afterwards. Hey, before we get started, we’re going to say hello to a few folks who already joined us here today. But I want to share just a couple of quick announcements. So, again, the 2022 Supply Chain and Procurement Awards, Greg, nominations continue to be open for about ten more days, April 1st when they all have to be in.

Greg White (00:03:53):

Now, we’ve conveniently aligned with or near the start of major league baseball season.

Scott Luton (00:03:59):

That was all planned. That was all planned.

Greg White (00:04:02):

I figured that’s what it was.

Scott Luton (00:04:03):

So, folks, we’ve got eight or nine different categories. We’ve got a variety of leadership [inaudible] awards, digital transformation, automation, logistics, something for everybody, manufacturing, excellence, I believe. But you can learn more at supplychainprocurement awards.com. And it doesn’t matter where you’re located. It doesn’t matter where your operations, or your people, products, warehouse, you name it, where all that’s located, companies across the globe are all eligible. So, check that out, supplychainprocurementawards.com.

Greg White (00:04:35):

I was going to make that one qualification, Scott. And that is, earth is preferred as a location for your company.

Scott Luton (00:04:41):

That’s an important distinction. Yes.

Greg White (00:04:45):

Nominations for Mars or planets beyond are not accepted.

Scott Luton (00:04:50):

So, on that note, let’s talk about the globe, as in the Global Upstate International Business and Foreign Affairs Conference. Greg, you and Kevin L. Jackson, both, are going to be speaking at this conference. It takes place March 28th through the 31st. And registrations are also open. Greg, what are you looking forward to there?

Greg White (00:05:12):

Really getting to see, to meet, and talk about world events with people from around the world. I mean, this is not solely a U.S. perspective or even a South Carolina perspective on what’s going on in both international political affairs and international business. We’re going to get to meet people from all over the globe, have some panels to talk about technology and supply chain, in addition to geopolitical affairs and other types of international and governmental affairs. So, it’s going to be very interesting talking about things like, you know, what we can expect from China in coming years from a more geopolitical perspective rather than just a business or supply chain perspective. So, that’s going to be interesting and should help shape how we approach business going forward.

Scott Luton (00:06:03):

Excellent. Well, we look forward to that. Again, March 29th through the 31st, registration is open. It’s going to be held in Greenville and Spartanburg, so y’all check that out. Looks like our team – big thanks to Catherine and Chantelle behind the scenes driving production – have dropped link in the chat, so y’all check that out.

 

Scott Luton (00:06:19):

And then, finally, our dear friends at Vector Global Logistics, they’re involved in a wide array of humanitarian efforts. It’s core to who they are as a company. You know, books to Africa, eyeglasses to families and kids in need, I think, in south America, that’s just part of what they do. So, we got together and we want to lean on their expertise and facilitation relationships to help marshal resources. So, join us this Wednesday, 3:00 p.m., March 23rd, as we attempt to leverage the logistics within our network for Ukraine. So, they’re already involved in very specific needs, and being able to get the resources to meet those needs based on their relationships and their organization and what they do. And we want to kind of have a clearing house. We’re going to see this is highly experimental, I guess, for lack of a better phrase. But it comes, Greg, from a place where we want to do something, whatever we can do, you give from what you have, and we want to do something to help address some of the needs and atrocities that are going on in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion. Your quick take there, Greg.

Greg White (00:07:38):

Well, I mean, we talked to a number of people in the last couple weeks about what we can do. I think it’s important to do something. And what we’re trying to do is create an outlet, just one more place where you can find a legitimate place to get funds or products or whatever to people in need.

Scott Luton (00:07:58):

That’s right. And this comes on the heels of having a wide variety of folks that are in Poland, in Ukraine. As Greg mentioned, we’ve spoken to, we featured some on the shows, to help get the word out about vetted ways you can help. So, this is in that vein, join us at 3:00 p.m. It’s open to folks that want to help regardless of what you do. We did not grab that link, that’s my bad. Catherine and Chantelle, if we can drop Amanda’s email address in the chat. If you want to be a part of that, shoot Amanda an email, and we’ll get you a link out to sign up for that call on Wednesday. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:08:40):

So, Greg, on a much, much lighter note, ask and ye shall receive, we have Silvia Judy with us right here.

Greg White (00:08:49):

I have feelings she’s always there. She’s not always sounding off.

Scott Luton (00:08:54):

Well, I’m sure she’s working doing supply chain stuff.

Greg White (00:08:59):

[Inaudible] for sure. She’s trying to clear that backlog in Charleston is what she’s doing, probably single handedly would be my guess.

Scott Luton (00:09:06):

Silvia, great to have you here. Erron Davis – tuned in via LinkedIn – great to have you here. Let us know where you’re dialed in from, what part of the world. Sheldon Rose is back. We’ve enjoyed Sheldon’s perspective, huh?

Greg White (00:09:18):

Yeah. On and off livestreams. I mean, he’s making some great observations and suggestions around supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:09:26):

Agreed. Of course, Jose Montoya.

Greg White (00:09:29):

Thank goodness. Now, we know we’ve got SoCal on the air. That’s good.

Scott Luton (00:09:33):

That’s right. Host of Logistics and Coffee, which is a great stream that takes place. Jose, great to have you fellow kindred spirit. Hey, Josh Goodey is with us tuned in again from Seattle. Right, Greg?

Greg White (00:09:46):

Yes. We need to know the state of Seattle this time. Is it warm and sunny? Is it cold and damp? Is it rainy and dreadful or dreadful and rainy?

Scott Luton (00:09:56):

Or is it Washington. But regardless, let us know what the weather is like up in that neck of the woods, Josh. Great to have you back.

Greg White (00:10:04):

Yes.

Scott Luton (00:10:07):

All right. So, Greg, before we welcome on our esteemed guest, Matt Fitzgerald with 6 River Systems, we’re going to walk through three stories that we’re tracking. Are you ready to go?

Greg White (00:10:20):

I am.

Scott Luton (00:10:21):

Well, let’s do that. Let me share this here. So, the first story up here in this article via Supply Chain Dive, the White House has announced an initiative last week that they’re calling – catch this, Greg – the Freight Logistics Optimization Works initiative. FLOW for short, I guess, is what they’re going to be referring to that. It’s led by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Its focus – as Greg alluded to on the frontend – on developing a much more effective information sharing system across the ports, shippers, carriers, 3PLs, all the stakeholders. The pilot is limited to just 15 companies and just a few ports, including – Greg, I believe, if I read this right – the Georgia Ports Authority.

Greg White (00:11:06):

That’s correct. So, that would include Brunswick and Savannah.

Scott Luton (00:11:12):

Right. So, Greg, your take on this development here.

Greg White (00:11:16):

I remember when they first started talking about this, the fear of God was struck into me that the government might be building a technology solution. It appears now that it’s more a data facilitation initiative, which is good. In my opinion, some of this data is public property, not the property of even its originators or generators. So, I think that’s a good thing. And the companies that are in it drive a ton of volume. I think it’s a prudent approach to use, I think, it was San Pedro – is that the port that they used on the West Coast? – and the Georgia ports relatively lower volume. So, you test the system and break it on low volume before you test the system and break it at higher volume to kind of work the bugs and the kinks out. So, that’s a good approach from a startup standpoint. A lot of the companies that are involved have a ton of power, C.H. Robinson, UPS, FedEx, Target. I’m trying to think who’s another big brand there. What’s that?

Scott Luton (00:12:23):

That’s a list of who’s who.

Greg White (00:12:24):

Yeah. CMA, CGM, you know, the shipping companies and that sort of thing. So, I think they’ve covered a lot of commerce, and I think that will be helpful. So, we’ll have to see how this evolves. But I think the two words that scared me. One is flow. Because it almost seems like, as in many government initiatives, they force fit the initiative to fit the acronym rather than building an acronym around the goals of the initiative. And the other is voluntary, not mandatory, compliance with the requests of this methodology. So, there’s got to be a way to make it mandatory, compulsory, whatever you want to call it, so that everyone has to and does contribute data to this. Because the goal is to provide data that gives insight to the people that you will be impacting. A port ahead of time, ahead of showing up, a supplier ahead of placing an order, all of those things. So, it’s important that companies contribute to this. But, hey, it’s a start.

Scott Luton (00:13:40):

It is a start. It is a start. I love your take on all that, Greg. A lot of stuff wasn’t even in the article. So, I appreciate you got your finger on the pulse as always. And I appreciate you sharing some of your take there. Really quick, Amanda, I know you’re doing some major multitasking. If I can add one more task, if you don’t mind. Amanda, the link for the Leveraging Logistics for Ukraine, if you could, when you get a chance, drop that in the chats so folks can join that Wednesday call. So, thanks so much, Amanda. I appreciate all that you do. Speaking of, we got Todd Craig, old TC, tuned in today. Todd, how are you doing?

Greg White (00:14:20):

Tell us what you’re seeing out there.

Scott Luton (00:14:22):

Yeah. We’d welcome it. Talk about fingers –

Greg White (00:14:25):

You’re probably seeing a beach. My guess is, certainly, he wouldn’t be tuning in from his kids’ spring break, would he?

Scott Luton (00:14:32):

I don’t know.

Greg White (00:14:33):

We’re maybe a couple weeks early for that.

Scott Luton (00:14:35):

Well, Todd, hope this finds you well. Great to have you here. Larry Castellow, “Good morning. New here from Houston, Texas.”

Greg White (00:14:42):

Another port that’s getting a shift of volume from the West Coast as well. The initial port that we first started talking about, which seems like five years ago, but it was probably about a year ago that we started to see that shift towards Houston.

Scott Luton (00:14:57):

Well, Larry, great to have you here. We love Houston. Everything but the Astros. A little friendly vibe there.

Greg White (00:15:07):

You’re friendly.

Scott Luton (00:15:10):

Erron is from Houston as well. Small world. Small world. Josh has given us that weather report you asked for, “Still rainy and cold. Kind of miss the eastern desert near Richland.” How about that?

Greg White (00:15:25):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (00:15:26):

Silvia, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” As always, Silvia. Mohib from where, Greg?

Greg White (00:15:32):

Wichita State. Go Shox.

Scott Luton (00:15:34):

That’s right. Air capital of the world. Greg is represented today. And finally, Devine is back with us. Devine Sports and Mentorship, Inc., “Good morning from Texas.” Great to see you back here with us, Devine.

 

Scott Luton (00:15:49):

Okay. So, Greg, moving right along, let’s move to this next story here, before we bring on, again, Matt Fitzgerald with 6 River Systems is going to be here with us about 12:25. So, next up, we all remember the Ever Given which was stuck in Suez Canal. You know, we’re still, in some cases, catching up from that incident. Well, it’s sister ship, the Ever Forward has become stuck recently in the Chesapeake Bay. So, according to Transport Topics and the coast guard, the vessel has essentially gotten stuck in the mud for about a week just outside, Greg, what’s called, the Craig Hill Channels. Evidently, it’s the deepest part of the Chesapeake Bay that’s meant for container ships. It’s a primary lane for container ships moving in and out of the area. So, Greg, what say you?

Greg White (00:16:41):

My first thought was Ever Green needs to rename their company to Ever Aground. But other than that, because this was just outside the channel, my guess is yet another one of their ships has broken down, lost steering or propulsion, and drifted onto something like this. It is a law in this port that a foreign owned ship must be piloted by a harbor pilot who would never have gone outside the channel and run it aground. So, I can only guess that the ship must have broken. Though, they aren’t reporting that right now. They’re still investigating and also trying to keep the ship from breaking up, monitoring for fuel loss, and that sort of thing. So, the reason that it could be weeks is that this went aground at high, high tide, full moon. And the next tide probably high enough to float this ship, without taking a substantial amount of cargo off of it, is the next full moon. Or, in some cases, depending on the harbor, it could be the next new moon, which I’ve realized from now being so close to the coast that that’s also when you get very high, high tides.

Scott Luton (00:18:00):

How about that?

Greg White (00:18:02):

So, it’s a couple weeks to 28 days away from when this ship got grounded.

Scott Luton (00:18:07):

And, of course, we hope that ship stays intact. But, thankfully, ships are still able to navigate around so it’s not clogging.

Greg White (00:18:18):

Since it got outside the channel, that’s actually pretty good. Though it’s requiring, you know, what they call one way, which basically means you got to line up, one ship in, one ship out. But that’s moments of delay relative to an entire voyage for a ship like that.

Scott Luton (00:18:37):

The crew must have missed the day that Jimmy Buffet taught keep it within the navigational beacons. That’s life lessons.

Greg White (00:18:50):

Right goes on the left side when you’re leaving – or red goes on the left side, I should say. Red right return.

Scott Luton (00:18:57):

Yes. There you go. But regardless, thankfully, no one got hurt. And, hopefully, it gets freed with no issues in the days, weeks ahead. We’ll see. Gene Pledger is back with us. Gene of Northern Alabama, supply chain practitioner. Welcome, Gene.

Greg White (00:19:13):

We never ask what the weather is like in Northern Alabama, so, Gene, let us know.

Scott Luton (00:19:16):

Give us that weather report. We’re going to blink and it’s going to be the weather channel, Greg. Everybody talks about the weather and we don’t have that.

 

Greg White (00:19:24):

Then, we don’t have to be right, Scott. Maybe we should think about that.

Scott Luton (00:19:27):

Right. Silvia echoes your sentiment, “Ever Green is renamed to Ever Stuck.” Love it. And Mohib is feeling the Shox this morning. “Shock the world,” he says. So, again, a tip of the hat to Wichita State University. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:19:43):

Greg, before we bring on our guest here today, one final story here. Starbucks is finally looking to get rid of its disposable cups. So, according to The Wall Street Journal, the company is currently experimenting with a reusable cup system. Of course, as you might imagine, had to delay that a little bit in recent years due to the pandemic. But the overall initiative is driven in part by the company’s efforts at cutting its waste sent to the landfill in half by 2030. So, I don’t know about you, Greg, but I’ve never liked using the cups. Cup, which is sturdy, lid, the installation ring, it’s a lot. And I hate dropping those things in a trash can. I’d like using my own cups if I can. But it seems like a good move. Your thoughts, Greg.

Greg White (00:20:33):

Greenwashing, that’s my first thought. Starbucks just got a new CEO, which is their old CEO, their founder, in the last few days. But, of course, I applaud this initiative. If Starbucks really wants to contribute to reducing waste, they should close their drive-thru forever. Shame on everyone whoever waits in line in a drive-thru, you are all contributing to global warming. And you’re doing it not because it’s faster. It is proven that it is much, much slower to go through a drive-thru. You’re too lazy to get out of your car. Get off your butt. Get on your feet. Get in line inside where it’s warm or cool, wherever you may be, and help save the planet.

 

Greg White (00:21:20):

I mean, look, let face it, Scott. Look, all these initiatives are all about responding to consumer and as lightly impacting their profits and revenues as much as possible. Because they could have far more impact by simply closing the drive-thrus, but they’re not going to do that because it’s going to impact their top line. So, this is as good as they can come up with now, so I guess we have to accept it. And by the way, I meant to open that statement with, I want to apologize for my cynicism during these next few statements. But let me apologize in retrospect, I want to apologize for my cynicism in these last past few statements.

Scott Luton (00:22:04):

Man, you’re coming in hot today, Greg, I tell you.

Greg White (00:22:09):

You know, first of all, I am an incredibly impatient person. And I hate drive-thrus. I hated them, first for that, for having to wait in line. You had to wait in line to order, to wait in line to pay, to then wait in line to get your food. And it just never made sense to me, so I just simply parked and went inside. And then, I realized it was so much faster. Then, I saw some studies that said it is so much faster and it reduces the carbon footprint of any human buying any product in any store by something, like, tenfold. It’s ridiculous how much better it is for us. So, that’s the part we can all do, is, to get off our lazy duffs and walk in the door.

Scott Luton (00:22:57):

Use those Chevrolegs. Use those Chevrolegs.

Greg White (00:23:00):

I like that. Hold on. I’m writing that down.

Scott Luton (00:23:04):

Write that down. I stole that from my dear friend, Highland Wong, back in the Air Force. So, Highland, hope this finds you well, wherever you are. So, Greg, we’re going to get a few bonus minutes with our fearless friend here that’s joining us in the livestream.

Greg White (00:23:20):

Hot dawg. Let’s go get him.

Scott Luton (00:23:21):

Yeah. Let’s go ahead and welcome in Matt Fitzgerald, Director of Product Management with 6 River Systems. Matt, good morning. How are you doing?

Matt Fitzgerald (00:23:31):

I’m doing well. Thanks.

 

Greg White (00:23:32):

Welcome aboard.

 

Matt Fitzgerald (00:23:32):

How are you guys doing?

Scott Luton (00:23:33):

We’re doing wonderful. We’re doing wonderful. Great to chat with you pre-show here today. And before we get started, we’re going to be talking about a couple different things with you here today from the labor market, to MODEX, to some things that 6 River Systems is up to. But, Greg, we learned pre-show that Matt is a big sports fan, but in particular he’s a big Boston Bruins fan. And one of his favorite figures of all time is Ray Bourque. Matt, you shared a little story about Ray Bourque on the frontend. Tell us about that trophy.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:24:09):

Sure thing. Yeah. So, I grew up watching the Bruins. I still watch it today. And Ray Borque is like a legend around here in Boston. And he got let go by the Bruins, went to the Avalanche when I was just starting out my career, actually. And he won the cup, and the message was the Bruins let him go because everybody loves Ray so he can go and win the cup. And being the kind of guy he is, he brought the cup back to Boston. We all went down to City Hall Plaza, big open space, and he brought it back, and thanked the fans here just as much as I would imagine he did the Colorado fans. It was pretty moving. And he’s still a member of the community and does things around the Boston area. So, he’s a great guy that I continue to cheer for.

Scott Luton (00:24:48):

I love that. Greg, I love that story, man.

Greg White (00:24:51):

Yeah. No wonder everybody loves him. You know, the Chiefs did a similar thing. They just made the mistake of giving Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons in the hope that he might win the Super Bowl. So, misguided giving, unfortunately. I mean, there was no reason to expect that they wouldn’t accept that they’re the Falcons. But I think that’s a great payoff and I think it’s brilliant. And I think another kind of tradition and I don’t know if Borque did this, but a lot of players come back and get a one day $1 contract with their team so that they can retire as the team that they first started with or loved the most or whatever, which a lot of players do. I think that’s a great tradition. It allows them to go into the Hall of Fame, if they go, of course, as whatever a team they want to. So, I love players like that love their city so much that they want to share that with them. That’s just a fantastic story. It gives you [inaudible].

Matt Fitzgerald (00:26:01):

It’s a great one. And I think he loves the city so much that he actually gets out of his car at drive-thrus, too, and go through the line.

Greg White (00:26:09):

I’ve seen a few coal smokey buildings in Boston. I mean, Boston has the disadvantage of having had that going on since, like, the 1600s. So, you got to be particularly aware of that there, right? The streets are about as wide as a horse or two.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:26:32):

That is true.

Scott Luton (00:26:33):

Matt, you don’t miss anything. I love that. So, thank you. And, also, just to close loop for everybody, Matt is from Boston. Still makes his home in the Boston area. All right. We’re going to shift gears. But I want to bring this in from Josh really quick since Matt went there. Josh says, “The world won’t end if you walk in a restaurant or coffee shop. Like Greg said, it was faster for me to go into the local store versus the drive-thru.” Absolutely, Josh. I’m with you. I’m with you. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:27:02):

So, let’s shift gears for a minute. So, we’re going to dive into some of the things that you’re observing there and doing, and some of the conversations you’re having, some of the folks you’re all working with there at 6 River Systems. And I want to start, Matt, with this interesting article via Modern Materials Handling. So, as we all know, the labor market is extremely challenging at all levels in a variety of functional areas as well. The Peerless Research Group, according to this article here, conducted recent market surveys and they found a couple things here. I’m going to summarize a few things that stood out to me.

 

Scott Luton (00:27:40):

First, only one-third of supply chain professional surveyed feel that their companies are “highly prepared” to meet demand with current staff in place. Secondly, two-thirds of those surveyed have attempted to increase wages to keep the team members they currently have on the team in place for retention purposes. And then, I also want to share this data from the survey as well. So, check this out, look at some of the ways that these companies have attempted to deal with talent shortages, including at the top, cross functional training, and a few other things there. So, with this as a backdrop – Matt, I want to start with you – what stands out to you, whether related to the labor market, this survey, even this specific information here.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:28:34):

It’s a good one. And these numbers seem to make sense from what I’ve gone around and walked around our customer’s warehouses, and things like that. I definitely see a lot of cross-functional training. They see where the gap is on a given day because, unfortunately, a lot of our customers and general folks in warehousing and fulfillment just don’t have enough people. So, they’re constantly shifting the labor pool from job to job or task to task. And the other thing that jumps out to me here is they implement new technologies only down there, like, 23 percent. And I really think there’s an opportunity for automation to help out here. I mean, I’ve been in the automation space for the last decade. I’ve been in warehouses and manufacturing plants all across the world. And I really think automation can really help people out and get them, you know, to do more. And, really, it isn’t the story of taking things away from people. It’s about adding capacity and adding that flexibility. And it helps with that number one thing of, like, employee retention.

 

Scott Luton (00:29:35):

So, Greg, kind follow up on what Matt shared there. I was kind of really surprised that new technologies was so far down in this set of data. Your thoughts, Greg.

Greg White (00:29:48):

I think the main reason for that is because we’re trying to solve a labor issue with typical labor solutions the status quo or the legacy labor solutions that we’ve had all throughout our past. And I think we need to think in new ways. Look, we say this frequently, Matt, and we’ve recognized this statistic as you probably have, and we talk about this a lot on supply chain now. In 2019, there were 44 million supply chain professionals in North America alone and 2 million open jobs in 2019. Now, there are more jobs required and fewer people to do those jobs, so even more job openings. That was nearly a 5 percent unemployment rate in this industry alone. And it’s much, much higher than that. And some of those jobs – I call it the 3Ds, dark, dirty, and dangerous – will never be filled by the incoming generations. In fact, they were left at a higher rate than expected by the people doing them, mostly baby boomers, over the last two years and will likely never be filled.

 

Greg White (00:30:57)

I think and I often say this a little more strongly than you, which I can, because I’m going to have to temper my statement so I’m not trying to sound sales-y. I mean, if you say it, you sound pitchy. If I say it, I sound like an idiot. But, nonetheless, I’m right. And that is that automation and technology is not an advantage. It is the word of the day, compulsory. It is absolutely necessary because some of these jobs will never again ever be filled by human beings. And, frankly, technology can do it at such an incredible rate, more effectively than human beings ever could. There’s no reason not to.

 

Greg White (00:31:37):

And, as you said, I believe we are past apologizing for technology taking people’s jobs. Technology will now take jobs that humans don’t want anyway, and elevate humans to do those things that they do so much better than technology. So, it’s staggering that it is so low. But at the same time, the shift of mind space – I didn’t say MySpace. Mind space – to think of things in a new way or with new solutions takes time. Even in the situation where we have, a catastrophic disruption, like we’ve seen over the last couple years.

Scott Luton (00:32:16):

All right. So, Matt, your thoughts there. And we’re going to talk about what 6 River is up to in a few moments. But your thoughts of what Greg shared.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:32:25):

I totally agree. I mean, I’ll tell you guys a little story. When I first started out, the first time I worked at a robot company a while back, my mother was proud of me that I got a new technology job, but angry at me because I was going to steal people’s jobs. My parents are blue collar. I grew up blue collar until I went to college, working construction and everything else. And that was like her lecture to me, “You’re stealing people’s jobs.” And I was like, “Mom, still to this day, I’m not. I’m helping business to survive. We want these American made companies and we want things now. We can’t find enough people to enable that here.” And so, with automation, we’re really helping people do more and we’re also helping people take on new jobs that they never thought of. I was at a customer last week in the Midwest and there’s a guy there, his responsibility is he’s in charge of our robots. That wasn’t in his career path. You didn’t think about that. And it’s a new, exciting thing for him to do and be a part of.

Scott Luton (00:33:22):

All right. So, Greg, we’ve talked a lot about that here in the last couple years, because that’s a part of the reality that automation offers. These things that were outside of current paths, all of a sudden, folks that lean in and can see this as an opportunity, they’re going to get trained up and add more to their tool belt and wallet.

Greg White (00:33:48):

I think so too. And they can also be elevated to jobs that are much more satisfying for human beings. And can you throw up those stats again, Scott? Because I’m curious, think about what the incoming generations want as a draw for a job. They want a sense of purpose, a higher calling, that sort of thing. None of that is in here either. So, how far are we off the mark as management leaders not to be acknowledging and trying to hire or redevelop the organization for that aspect as well. And, again, I think technology enables that. It enables the human to do something that is more fulfilling, that is more purposeful, and much, much higher purpose than making sure this nut is tightened to six foot pounds or whatever. I mean, I feel like we’re still a bit off the mark, but yet another disruption. Next time, maybe the ship gets crossways in the canal or in the channel in Baltimore, and then we really start thinking about these kind of disruptions.

Scott Luton (00:35:08):

This cross-functional training got a couple people’s attention. Silvia says, “Cross-functional training is the key going back 40 years in the German apprenticeship program in freight fording. We had to touch on every aspect in the logistic supply chain. It has not changed in four decades.” I love that.

Greg White (00:35:29):

That’s good and bad there, I think. I mean, that they had cross-functional training is very good. But that cross-functional training maybe not hasn’t changed. That requirement probably still exists. Hopefully, the approach has changed somewhat over the last four decades.

Scott Luton (00:35:47):

Right. TSquared says, “The cross-functional training is a must, but it’s grossly lacking without the need for upskilling,” perhaps. TSquared holding down the fort for us on YouTube. Great to see you here today. Mohib says, “Cross-functional training increases resource capacity and flexibility. However, it tends to reduce specialization.” That’s a good point. “It’s all about prioritizing the trade offs needed at the time.”

 

Scott Luton (00:36:22):

Matt, whether it’s cross-functional training or something else that comes to mind – by the way, I love the stories out in the market kind of seeing these things play out, seeing what it means for both companies and their teams and the consumer. Because I hate to use that word, whenever I say win, win, win, I feel like I’m selling something, but truly we’re creating good value for all parties.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:36:48):

Absolutely. And that’s a big thing. You know, one of the things we do here at 6 River is we go out and visit a lot of our customers at their peak time, so right before the holidays. And we send anybody who wants to go in the company to go visit. Because we don’t want to just be there when it’s like the whole hum daily basis. We want to see what it’s like when it’s really happening. And I did that this year for, about, four days and it was remarkable to see the operations really humming and everything else. And seeing our products fly around. Just have these little anecdotal chats with folks on how they’re doing, what makes their lives better, and what’s challenging, and things like that.

Scott Luton (00:37:27):

Going to the gemba, Matt, is what you’re doing, for sure, where the value is created. All right. So, Matt, I want to ask you , and Greg, let’s talk about what 6 River Systems does for the three people that may be tuned in across the world that may not know. Because y’all been on quite the move in recent years. What does 6 River Systems do, Matt?

Matt Fitzgerald (00:37:51):

Thanks for asking. Yeah, we are a solution provider. And we look at it as a solution. You heard me refer to working in robotics or our robot, but it’s not all about our robot. We’re helping customers, whether they’re 3PLs, e-com, business to business. We’ve got a whole system that is optimizing the fulfillment in your warehouse. We’re going to look at what you have. We’re going to integrate with the WMS. And we’re going to push the orders to the robot. And the robot does sort of the 3Ds that Greg was talking about. The robot goes, it leads you where to go, it shows you what you have to pick, and then it carries all the products for you. So, you’re not pushing this heavy rack around all the time. And so, we’re all about, like, optimizing your warehouse and making sure if you do have those labor shortages, we’re going to make you more productive, we’re going to increase your efficiency across the board.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:38:38):

And like I was talking about, people are happy to use them, too, because it makes their life easier. Like I was talking about, there’s a picture on there. I was with a customer a couple months ago and he’s like, “Matt, you know, I can’t tell you how many times with our old system, at the end of the day, I’m tired. Cognitive recognition is out the door because I’ve been walking around for ten hours. And I’ve gone to Aisle 1 instead of Aisle 10. I’ve never made that mistake with your system. It just leads me there. So, I don’t have to worry. It makes my job easier at the end of the day.” I mean, we’ve all done this, right? At the end of the day, you trying to crank something out, and you’re like, “Oh. I just went to the wrong place,” or something like that.

Scott Luton (00:39:15):

It’s human. We all certainly have done that. And these folks are working hard. There’s more and more demand on what they do. And, Greg, I’ll get your touch on this as well. But what I love you speaking to there is that employee experience. How can we take better care of our teams? How can we put them in better, safer, more productive, but also more rewarding and fulfilling, that Greg has spoken to? How can we really level on them for all that they do for industry and our organizations? Greg, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:39:49):

Immediately what came to mind was personal shopper. “Oh, you need this? Let’s go over here. I’ll show you where it is.” And then, it carries it around for you while you go on the next thing. That could actually be a little bit of fun. I mean, I have done some picking in a warehouse and, believe me, it’s not the most rewarding job. But, man, something like that where I could go, “Oh, there it is. Carry that around for me, would you, Tom Tom?”

Scott Luton (00:40:14):

“Come on, Chuck.” Now, I got to circle back on something with you, Matt. Maybe we’re going to have to have Ms. Fitzgerald, your mother, on because if all that stuff isn’t cool and isn’t good for our teams, employees, folks coming into industry, folks already here, you make quite a case there. She still wasn’t buying it.

 

Matt Fitzgerald (00:40:39):

She might now. I think she boxed at the word robot. And I think that’s common for a lot of people in industry, they hear robot and they think like loss of jobs, but that’s not the case. And that’s why we’re 6 River Systems, we’re not 6 River Robotics, because we’re building a system that really optimizes the whole workflow. Our robot is definitely the face where the most associates use and you’re involved with that every day. But it’s our whole system that we’re trying to make things easier and faster for people to do their jobs.

Scott Luton (00:41:08):

I love that. You know, Greg, we have interviewed quite a few people from 6 River Systems over the years, going back a couple years now. That’s the first time I’ve heard a team member mention what Matt just did, there’s a reason we’re not 6 River Robots.

Greg White (00:41:23):

The mother? Oh. Oh, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:41:25):

There’s a reason we’re not 6 River Robots. We’re 6 River Systems. That’s an important distinction, right?

Greg White (00:41:31):

I think it is because, first of all, the precise use case, Matt, you described includes a human being. What it isn’t doing is replacing the human being. What it is doing is augmenting the human being. And it creates a safety barrier by not having them wandering around in a daze in the distribution center or fulfillment center or whatever. But, also, in carrying those objects as they move throughout the warehouse as well. I mean, that’s an important thing to acknowledge. Your mom surely could not argue with that. And by the way, I would never encourage putting someone’s mother on this show because I have a feeling she could kick all of our butts. She’ll have us all convinced robots are a bad thing.

Scott Luton (00:42:24):

We’ll have to pin that for later, Matt. But regardless, I’m so glad you shared that. I’m going to circle back on a couple things here. So, y’all have got some cool events coming up, we’re going to talk about that in just a minute, Matt. Mohib says, “I agree with you, Greg. You can’t pay these kids enough for the triple D jobs.” Dark, dirty, and dangerous, right, Greg?

Greg White (00:42:47):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:42:48):

“Robots bring in more business so that they can do more value added intellectual jobs as a human.” That’s a great point, Mohib.

 

Greg White (00:42:55):

Nailed that.

 

Scott Luton (00:42:56):

And I completely butchered TSquared’s comment a second ago. He shared what this abbreviation meant.

Greg White (00:43:05):

He must be Gen Z and you don’t speak Gen Z.

Scott Luton (00:43:09):

Well, maybe not. I’m working on that fluency. But this is a great point he makes. Because while cross-functional training is a must and it’s valuable, as he mentions. “It’s grossly lacking with respect to the need for upskilling.” It’s not the same thing. It’s two different things. We’re talking about upskilling when you’ve got a technology, an automation solution, that gets implemented into a facility. The employees naturally don’t just cross-train on different things, they’ve got to learn new skills, and so be upskilled. And that’s where some of the value is that we’re all speaking to. So, thank you, TSquared. Yes. WRT, with respect to. Lesson learned.

Greg White (00:43:54):

So, this is like duo lingo live. I want to learn Gen Z.

Scott Luton (00:44:01):

Yeah. Seriously. But great point, TSquared. So, Matt, I think we’ve shared what 6 River Systems does. And, again, I love your comment there, just not robotics, its systems. That’s such an important point. Let’s talk about MODEX. MODEX, Greg, numerous times, we’ve broadcast there the last time they were in Atlanta officially in 2020.

Greg White (00:44:27):

Right before the world shut down.

Scott Luton (00:44:29):

Really. Really. I can’t remember who I got this from, Greg and Matt, but someone shared that it was the biggest supply chain tread show in the Western hemisphere, which kind of evokes circus P.T. Barnum in my mind. I don’t know. But big show, lot of cool things going on, some of the best demonstration. Not even boost. Boost of don’t do it justice.

Greg White (00:44:53):

Many factories and many warehouses.

Scott Luton (00:44:56):

So, 6 River Systems is going to be there. Matt, tell us about some of y’all’s approach for this go round.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:45:02):

Yeah. Absolutely. So, we’ll be there. We’re in Booth 8832. I’m just got to make sure my notes are right. I’m going to be jotting that down. I don’t want to mess that one up. But the whole system I talked about, we call it our Fulfillment Execution System. And we’re going to be demoing that. We have a nice setup where you can walk through a hand guided tour where we’re going to show you all the things about how we can improve the efficiency, work with our robot, our AMR named Chuck, and actually see it in operation, and all the things. We like to really add value to all the walls, the four walls of the warehouse. And we have a pack station, so we’ll be showing how we’re packing our things. Like, the whole way we want to add value.

 

Matt Fitzgerald (00:45:37):

But one of the things I want to highlight and I’d invite everybody to come to is, we have a competition too. We have what’s called Pick To Win, and we have two real aisles and you go head to head. So, we can set you up, Scott and Greg, head to head, and we have a leaderboard and everything, your name goes up in lights. So, who’s the faster picker with Chuck. And that really draws people in, gets them excited, and it gives you rapid hands-on experience with our technology so you can try it out.

Greg White (00:46:03):

Matt, could you put two Chucks together to work and compete against two humans? It be like that John Henry thing, right?

Scott Luton (00:46:12):

Yeah. So, to clarify, again, for the three people that may not know this. But the bots at 6 River Systems are known as Chuck. So, when we’re talking about Chuck, we’re talking about the bots component of their solution. Matt, I don’t know whoever came up with this Pick To Win concept at MODEX, but, man, that is so cool. You got that competitive spirit. Whoever’s on top of that leaderboard, it’s going to be watching the leaderboard at the masters coming up in April. They’re going to be protecting that leadership status. But, Matt, really cool. And we’ve got the link. By the way, we dropped the link where you can learn more about meeting the 6 River Systems team at MODEX. You’ll find that in the comments.

 

Scott Luton (00:47:00):

Greg, maybe me and you can pick a time and show up and see who can duke it out?

Greg White (00:47:06):

We should check that out. You know, that International Affairs and Business Conference is that week.

Scott Luton (00:47:17):

It’s Pick To Win, man. Come on.

Greg White (00:47:19):

But maybe there’s a day that you could go to MODEX first. It might be Monday.

Scott Luton (00:47:21):

We’ll double check that.

Greg White (00:47:23):

What date does MODEX start? Because, Matt, I would do anything to go head to head with Scott Luton.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:47:31):

I knew you would. Next Monday, it starts.

Greg White (00:47:34):

Is it? Okay.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:47:35):

Yeah. Monday through Thursday.

Scott Luton (00:47:36):

We’ll have to check that out. And, folks, click on the link to learn more about, not just Pick To Win, but everything else that Matt and the team have got going at MODEX. Greg, that’s not all. In the words of the infamous Ron Popeil – I love that guy – Matt, y’all are doing something with Project Verte on March 30th, a really cool tour, networking session, adult beverages, I think are involved. Tell me more about that.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:48:01):

Yeah. So, to build off of what you talked about, so our robot is a cart that has a scanner and a screen on and everything else. And you get to try during Pick To Win. And we’ll set up Greg and Scott should they want to compete against each other. And it’s a trade show demo. It gets you hands-on. It gets you excited about it. But we’re doing a tour of one of our actual customers, Atlanta Project Verte. And you could actually go see our product and our solution in action, because nothing beats it in context. Because you see this robot in a trade show booth, it’s compelling, but how does that work in my warehouse? How does that add value? Well, you can take us up on it and join us on March 30th and go to Project Verte and see it, ask questions of the folks there, ask questions of our team, meet some new peers in the industry. And we’re going to have a nice, like, networking and happy hour after the event. So, it’s a really great one to put our technology in context to think about how it might add value.

Scott Luton (00:48:53):

I love that. And look here, Jose says, “I am in.” I am so in. Okay. I might added that. Greg, your thought about the Project Verte Tour.

Greg White (00:49:04):

I love that idea. If I recall correctly, Project Verte is a e-com fulfillment 3PL, for lack of a better term, right? I mean, if you want to see how your order gets picked when you buy it on Shopify or a website or whatever, this is a great example of how it really, really happens. So, I think that would be enlightening for a lot of folks. And maybe, Matt – I’m just saying – invite your mom.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:49:38):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:49:38):

Nice. Ms. Fitzgerald, hey, we’re not picking on you.

Greg White (00:49:43):

I mean, I think it might be good because maybe some folks from Project Verte can convince her if you can’t that people are not losing their jobs, right?

Scott Luton (00:49:50):

Yes. I love it. So, Ms. Fitzgerald, wherever you are, the Supply Chain Now team wishes you nothing but the best. And we appreciate all that you’ve done raising –

Greg White (00:50:01):

See the goodness in action.

Scott Luton (00:50:02):

That’s right. Really quick, I wanted to add, TSquared, he’s a proud Gen X’er.

Greg White (00:50:10):

He’s one of us.

Scott Luton (00:50:11):

Yeah. That’s right. He is a GenX’er. I wanted to make that really clear.

Greg White (00:50:14):

Well, he’s a highly educated one because he also speaks Gen Z, so he’s multilingual like that.

Scott Luton (00:50:23):

Silvia is a big fan of the upskilling conversation, including what TSquared shared. And I want to add this here from Mohib. So, he’s speaking right to you, Matt. He says, “Matt, I want to develop a mixed integer linear programming model with my kid before she graduates high school. What are some of the thoughts, goals, objective functions, and constraints I should pass to her so we can optimize and simulate warehouse operations?” Now, Matt, I don’t want to put you on the spot. That’s above my pay grade. You’re more than welcome to connect with Mohib after today’s session. But is there anything you’d like to share with Mohib there?

Matt Fitzgerald (00:51:03):

Yeah. It’s a great question. I think some of the things you want to figure out is like, what is your design rates? What are you looking to get for a throughput? How big is the area that you’re going to be operating in? Like in our system, how many robots we have? We have a whole solution team that goes in. Customers are like, “We want to solve this problem. We want to automate our picking process.” And we go in and we ask all these questions. And like, how big is the robot? Or the solution that you’re coming up with in regards to the aisle widths and traffic flow and congestion. So, there’s a number of things there. And I’m happy to connect. I’m on LinkedIn if you want to share some notes back and forth. I love that you’re thinking about helping your child learn more about this stuff, and it’s wonderful.

Scott Luton (00:51:45):

Agreed, Matt. Greg, I’ll throw it over you for one of your last comments before we make sure folks know how to connect with Matt. But what Matt’s speaking to there or at least part of what I heard, is, it’s not unpack the solution, add the same box, the same thing, standard, plug it in, and this is how it works. Lots of different levers, lots of things considered are truly customize solution that is the best fit for that specific operation is part of what I heard there. But, Greg, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:52:15):

Yeah. I think, you know, you have to consider what your layout is. I think a lot of companies spend a lot of time focusing on the industrial engineering aspect of a manual facility. And then, that can either be efficient or inefficient depending on how humans interact with it. When you have robotics interacting with it, it’s a completely different scenario. And I think that’s one of the things you have to think about -we know a lot about 6 River and I’ve worked with other robotics companies – where you can take a sub-optimal environment and still be highly efficient with robots because they don’t get tired. They can move fast when they know it’s safe to do so, that sort of thing. So, there are all kinds of ways to attack this problem.

Greg White (00:53:06):

And I just like to say one more thing and that is, I’ve met Mohib’s daughter. First of all, the whole family is full of geniuses. His wife is also a PhD candidate. And his daughter is unbelievably intellectual, and you can just see it in her eyes. We were having a conversation in kind of an incubator space that had Makerspace in it, and you can just see her processing everything that she was seeing and being said at the same time. So, Matt, I’m just going to tell you, if you get in a conversation with him, be careful and bring a scientist.

Scott Luton (00:53:42):

I love that. And going back to your comments there, Greg, you have an opportunity not only to automate, but also to optimize the operations and the processes and the layout as it were. All right, Matt, really enjoyed your time with us here today. I love the stories you brought. Of course, we love talking about Ms. Fitzgerald and her take on industry. Who knows, we may have to revisit that and have her on. I think that’d be really cool. I know we had a little fun with that, but I think there are a lot of folks, I believe, that are still kind of breaking through some of the thinking that we’ve talked through and kind of how they perceive technology, how they perceive the robots are coming, and that kind of stuff. But we’re making progress. And I think, Greg, as we go back mentally through all these conversations we’re having, you can almost see it tangibly being made out, across industry. But, Matt, I know you’ve welcomed a post-show conversations, cups of coffee in reusable cups, and other things, and no drive-thrus. But how can folks connect with you and the 6 River Systems team, Matt?

Matt Fitzgerald (00:54:58):

Sure. I’d love to. Please, reach out to me on LinkedIn. You’ll find me there just under Matt Fitzgerald at 6 River Systems. It’ll be a quick search. And then, as always, you can find us all through our website. And we were talking about MODEX there. And if you go to our webpage, we’ve got a link there that you could sign up for a meeting or sign up for project. So, we’ll see you out there in the internet. And then, we’ll see in person at MODEX next week.

Scott Luton (00:55:21):

Awesome. And, Matt, just so you know and all of our listeners know, we’ve got those links to MODEX, we’ve got the links to the Project Verte Tour, we’ve got the links to Matt, so you’re one click away from connecting with him out on LinkedIn. Matt, truly a pleasure to have you with us here today. Kidding aside, give your family our best regards. That’s why we’re here standing on the shoulders of those giants. And we look forward to connecting with you, hopefully, next week here at MODEX.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:55:50):

That’d be awesome. Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it. This is a fun time.

Scott Luton (00:55:53):

You bet. Thanks so much, Matt, for sharing.

Greg White (00:55:54):

Thanks, Matt. Good Intel.

Matt Fitzgerald (00:55:55):

Thanks.

Scott Luton (00:55:59):

Man, I loved it, really. Good stuff there. Very frank conversations. And, Mohib, I love what you’re doing. To echo what Matt and Greg are saying, how you’re working alongside your daughter to continuing to open up areas of opportunity, and ideas, and passions of what maybe she wants to accomplish in her career. So, I love that, Mohib. Greg, really quick, I want to pop this back up because I’ve got the link now. Big thanks again to Amanda, Chantelle, and Catherine. Folks, we want to invite you to join us on this really open, frank facilitation session. If you care, if you want to get involved and find a way to take action to help those in Ukraine, join us this Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. for our Leveraging Logistics for Ukraine session. And we’re going to drop that link in the chat as well.

 

Scott Luton (00:57:00):

But, Greg, going back to Matt Fitzgerald and 6 River Systems, you know, I really enjoy when you meet a new team member for an organization you’re familiar with, and you think you know them and then you learn a couple of new things. Matt brought it today, huh?

Greg White (00:57:18):

Yeah. It’s really interesting to get broad perspectives even from within an organization. Though there are some really significant similar themes, I think Matt, he enunciated what their greater purpose is in a different way than we’ve heard before. And I’m sure it resonated with people that, you know, they haven’t resonated with before. So, that’s a key part of having a diversity of people within a company. And that’s why you want those different points of views, and all of those different life learnings, and ethnicities, and genders, and all of that sort of thing, because we’ve seen all of that here with 6 River. We’ve seen a really broad cross-section of who works with that team. And what they all bring to this is a singular purpose, which is clear, but different perspectives on that purpose, which I think are really, really valuable.

Scott Luton (00:58:18):

Agreed. Agreed. Look forward to our next conversation. Big thanks to Matt Fitzgerald and the 6 River Systems team for joining us here today. Pick To Win at MODEX, that’s going to be a lot of fun. That’s going to be a lot of fun. I can see a lot of competitive people – including this guy right here. This guy – that are going to be signing up and wanting to win, and be at the top of that leader board. Right?

Greg White (00:58:41):

Oh, unquestionably. I have no question. You know, you and I may be close in score. But somebody who actually does this for a living is going to go in there and just smoke everyone who thinks they’re a supply chain guru.

Scott Luton (00:58:56):

So, I don’t know if Matt can hear us or 6 River team can hear us, but how cool would it be to have a championship belt, like Hulk Hogan had or Ric Flair had to the winner. We’ll see if then can update. But regardless, y’all check it out.

Greg White (00:59:07):

I guarantee you, they have some momentum.

Scott Luton (00:59:09):

They got something.

 

Greg White (00:59:10):

They got something.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:11):

You’re probably not going to win a Chuck.

Greg White (00:59:13):

I was going to say, you could win a little bitty Chuck. It’s like winning an Oscar each year. “You like me. You really, really like, me.”

 

Scott Luton (00:59:20):

Well, folks, hopefully y’all have enjoyed this conversation as much as Greg and I have had here today. Great to have all of y’all. I love the commentary. I love the observations. Of course, we learned that TSquared is a proud fellow Gen X’er.

 

Greg White (00:59:39):

Yeah. He has much more [inaudible] that we are clearly.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:43):

And eloquent.

 

Greg White (00:59:44):

Which I didn’t need to know, but I appreciate.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:48):

Hey, it’s about taking action. We dropped a ton of links, different ways you can get involved from events and conferences like Greg is speaking at, Greg and Kevin next week, to MODEX, to the facility tours that are friends at 6 River Systems are hosting. That’s really cool. To the humanitarian stuff, because supply chain makes it happen. We’re in a unique position to really meet a very intense need. So, hopefully, some folks will join us this Wednesday as we kind of just figure out wherever we are in our walk of life, how we can help folks in need in Ukraine and elsewhere.

 

Scott Luton (01:00:22):

Greg, always a pleasure.

 

Greg White (01:00:24):

Likewise.

 

Scott Luton (01:00:24):

Big thanks to you joining us here today. Folks, whatever you do, whatever you do, whatever you act on, something maybe you heard here today, take action. You got to do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:40):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Matt Fitzgerald is 6 River Systems’ Director of Product Management specializing in Robotics and Automation. For the past decade, Matt has worked for and led the product teams at the pioneers of collaborative robots, Universal Robots and Rethink Robotics. He led the release of the world’s first collaborative robot back in 2013. More than just being a robotics and automation enthusiast, Matt is obsessive about customer needs and how his products can add ongoing value to their organizations. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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